If you want your bathroom TO have an old-fashioned, romantic feel, forget about installing a conventional vanity. FOR a truly UNIQUE look, CONVERT a chest OF drawers OR an antique side TABLE INTO a washstand.
1. A chest OF drawers can be converted washstand IN three stages. FIRST, cut a hole IN the TOP FOR the sink, AND a hole IN the back FOR the plumbing. THEN attach the chest TO the wall AND hook up the plumbing. Finally, modify the TOP drawers so they don't bump INTO the plumbing WHEN closed.
2. WHEN looking FOR a suitable chest, make sure the drawer supports run along the sides OF the chest, rather than along the center. Before installing the sink, finish the TOP OF the chest WITH three coats OF polyurethane TO protect the wood FROM water damage. Finish the rest OF the chest WITH a good penetrating oil. SELECT a pretty porcelain sink AND old-fashioned faucet AND handles.
3. Modify the UPPER drawers TO make room FOR the plumbing BY making new drawer backs AND sides WITH 1/2-inch plywood.
4. If storage IS NOT an issue - FOR instance IN a half-bath -- you can create a similar look with a free-standing side table.